Infection Outbreak Hits Hef's House

Health officials question Playboy Mansion

Monday, Feb 14, 2011  |  Updated 10:54 AM PDT
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County health officials were investigating why dozens of people reported respiratory illnesses after attending a recent fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion in Westwood, during which a fog machine was used.

The fundraiser, held Feb. 3 at the mansion, was part of the annual DOMAINfest Global conference, which was held at the Fairmount Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health sent an e-mail to all fundraiser attendees Friday warning them about reports of people becoming ill with respiratory ailments similar to pneumonia, reported The Times.

County health officials issued a statement saying they are investigating the "suspected respiratory infection outbreak" and looking into potential sources of exposure. Officials said the health department has no evidence that anyone other than those who attended the conference were affected by the suspected outbreak.

David Castello, 54, who attended the conference and mansion event with his brother Mike, told the Times he got sick the next day.

"It knocked me off my feet for four or five days," said Castello. "I'm over it now, but I'm still feeling fatigue, which is not a good thing."

Castello said his brother was mostly outside on the night of the event and did not get sick.

Some of those who became ill blamed a fog machine used at the party.

A Playboy representative told the New York Post that the Playboy Mansion was contacted by the health department and is cooperating fully with the investigation.

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